a considered life…

All in all, we choose what our lives look like.

Sometimes, that is hard to see because perhaps it doesn’t really reflect who we are. To start, we need to ask ourselves, “what do I want my life to be/look like?”

I’ve been thru many different phases of my life. Young wife, mother, older mother, older wife. You get the idea. I also went thru lots of phases with decor from shabby chic, to lots of old furniture, and our more esthetic period when all I wanted was a Japanese farmhouse. ( well, I still would love that). But, really everyone’s life has phases and we are all at different points in the journey.

 I started my minimalistic journey with Flylady.  I was really in need of a system to help organize my house, housekeeping, cooking, etc.  I also was on Revlimid( a chemo pill for myeloma) and a very intense steroid( Dexamethasone). So I either had limited energy or the Dex was making me hyper and a bit crazy. So that’s when I started Flylady as her 15-minute rule worked perfectly for me. Basically, get a timer and set for 15 minutes and do the zone cleaning or decluttering.  Sometimes that was all I could do.

Since I decluttered thousands of things, each zone really only takes me 15 minutes max except the kitchen which takes generally an hour.  I don’t spend hours a week cleaning or tidying because the bulk of it is done in the zone cleaning. I do vacuum multiple times a week though and dust with a Swiffer.

There are some areas that I would still like to change such as moving some of the Heywood furniture in the living area but for now, that’s where they live.

One of the biggest game-changer for me was to finally be okay with our small house. It’s old, takes a lot of upkeep overall, it’s got a weird layout. ( There’s no real entryway). But it’s what we have and we do not want to move. Of course, circumstances do change if it became necessary we would move.

So I am grateful for this ‘considered life’ that we have created for ourselves.

Simple Sunday

Wowza, it is hot!

We’re hitting the 101 mark today and I have the coolers on already at 75.

I just finished the LR zone and am deciding whether to go to the gym. I don’t want to aggravate my rib pain. Plus, I’m trying to decide whether this merits an x-ray.  If it’s a pulled muscle then it’ll slowly get better. If it’s a rib fracture, the question would be why? So, I think I’ll wait and see how it is tomorrow. I told my husband, that I’m pretty sure this happened last year but can’t find any notes relating to it.

I’m making a new recipe tonight ‘Roman Chicken’ that’s from Food Network. Mostly it’s just chicken, peppers, capers, onions and tomatoes. Not sure what makes it “Roman” but I’ll try it.

I finished a good mystery by Baldacci; ” The Fix”. It was a good spy mystery. Now I don’t have any books left so I may need to go down to the pet bookstore and see if there’s anything there.

It’s now later, and I decided NOT to go to the gym. Sunday is my favorite day there as all the regulars aren’t there. Plus there are no jump around classes although there is a yoga class.

B has two appts this week. Getting his orthopedic boot on Monday and Tuesday is clinic. His counts all went down a little but I guess that’s to be expected.

 

Friday stuff…

It’s been a nice week overall except for the heat. It’s supposed to be the hottest today and tomorrow. I do not do well in the heat. No motivation.

I also pulled a muscle in my ribcage although it could be an old rib fracture acting up. Either way, I limited my activity level. I don’t think it could be a new rib fracture(myeloma-related) as my numbers are still so low and just barely out of the normal range. But all things are possible.  Besides, what can you do? I’ll check with my doctor when I see him in August about some Xrays. Rib fractures are very common with Multiple Myeloma so I suppose it’s possible.

I’m going to go to the gym and just use the Treadmill and then we need to go to the feed store. I do need a few things from Target but I’m resisting going as I haven’t been in there since before I went to Sacto. But I do need new shower curtains:(

I made homemade falafels last night and they were yummy. here’s the link

I use Downshiftology’s recipes a lot and they are always delicious.  My daughter made the Tziki and it was grated cucumber instead of chunks and delicious. Plus there was tahini sauce which I love.

Tonight is pizza night but I think it’s too hot to turn the oven on so we will order something.

 

A certain feeling…

I’ve been working on letting go of even more things that are just not essential.

When I was in Sacramento for those 2 1/2 almost 3 weeks, I had only what was most important and essential. There was the Mr. Coffee I bought for the RV, 2 cups, a sharp knife from Ikea, and a few other things.

I’m a sensory/visual person which is why I’m so attracted to minimalism. I get anxiety if there is too much stuff around me or on shelves. So down at the RV, visually it was very simple and undecorated.

And I had a FEELING about it. It was something I could tell was a subtle elusive thing. When I got home, with everything going on, it took a few weeks to get back to routines. Then I had that elusive feeling pop up. It was very fleeting and then I stopped and really examined what I was feeling.

It was to have around you only those things you love or use.

Simple Sunday

Our weather is heating up this week. Even though we will get to the upper 90’s the humidity here in California is quite low. It must be brutal to have 95-degree weather with 95% humidity or whatever they are having thru most of the country.  I remember growing up in New York and the humidity in the summer was awful.  Even though I moved to Tucson in 1970, and the temperatures were 110 in the summer, there was almost no humidity. I’ll take that any day.

I went to the gym this morning and it was perfect with almost no people.  Ha, Ha, the introvert that I am. But seriously, on Monday mornings it is a zoo in there and sometimes you can’t even get to a machine without 3 other people heading you off.

I picked up a nice stack of books at the pet bookstore to read this week or next couple of weeks. I found a good copy of Hemmingway’s ‘ The Sun Also Rises’.

Last night I made an orzo salad with our own cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I also added our own basil. It was good. I had some shredded chicken on the side for the meat-eaters. I’m not feeling too inspired tonight to cook, so we’ll see what happens. I do have a menu plan for the week including homemade chicken enchiladas but I don’t feel like that tonight.

I worked in the Bedroom zone this morning and it’s almost done. Sunday is my sheet day, so they are washed and ready to put back on the bed. I’m loving linen sheets and if you’re in the market for new sheets, definitely check out linen. They are wonderful to sleep on. This set is the one from Ikea I bought to use in the RV.

Our week doesn’t look overly busy so that will be nice. We even may take a drive up to Tahoe just to see the lake and sit for a while. I really miss going up there this time of year and camping. But it is what it is and there will be next year.IMG_1147

Five on Friday

Another good week.

The doctor’s appt went well and he’s graduated to doing clinic just once a week. That’s really great. His labs all look good and the prednisone is controlling the diarrhea. I’m pretty sure it was a mild case of Graft vs Host in the gut but it’s under control now. He will slowly taper off the prednisone next week.

I used the IP again and made polenta and the next night did chili. I guess as long as it’s under my Heywood Cabinet and not taking up real estate in the kitchen, I’m okay using it for certain recipes. Polenta in the Instant Pot is particularly good if you haven’t tried that. When you made polenta on the stovetop it is hands-on stirring for about 30 minutes. So this is a really great way to make it and it is very creamy. I put it in a loaf pan and chill and then cut in slices and fry with a little tamari and then I top with cheese.  So I’m glad I didn’t just get rid of it without giving it some time.  Time is an amazing thing!

I’m going to Costco this morning for a few things and to bring my receipt where I was double charged.  I feel kinda weird about it but I’ll try.

We’re adjusting to life without Bonnie. Rocky seems better than at first. He’s getting a lot of attention, so that helps.

I finished a few really excellent psychological thrillers by Dana French. ” In the woods” and ” Broken Harbor”. She’s a great writer but the stories are dark but compelling. I also picked up a few books at the book exchange at the Cancer clinic. First, this is a terrific idea to have a bookshelf for patients to pick up books and drop off. Kiwanis house has quite a few bookcases thru out their facility and I definitely used them. So I picked up Ernst Hemmingway’s ” A moveable Feast” which was published posthumously. I ‘ve never really like Hemmingway’s stuff but this was really great. It’s a collection of essays about when he lived in Paris in the 1920s. I would highly recommend it. It is a masterpiece of writing.  I’m interested in going back an rereading some of his other books.

I dropped off about 8 books including some very new books I had bought but really didn’t want to keep. Flylady’s new book “CHAOS” was one. And some others too.

We received the first Cobra insurance bill and it’s a whopper.  Part of the bill still has our son on for medical, but that will come off as of 9/1 when his Kaiser Permanente kicks in so there will be another very large bill in August as well. Big as in $1200. Yes, that’s big! But then it should drop by about $600, I think… we’ll see:(

 

RIP Bonnie Doone

Yesterday did not go as planned.  I was getting stuff ready to go to the gym and Home Depot and I noticed some red spots on the concrete patio. I thought it was BBQ sauce as I had just taken in the utensils from the night before, and thought it was a drip.

I called my daughter out and said: “Is this blood”? She said yes and we went to find Bonnie. Now Bonnie is a 14-year-old McNab border collie that she rescued 3 years ago almost exactly. She has been a good dog although she has been an expensive dog with anti-seizure medicine monthly a urinary medicine too. Both have been my daughter’s expenses.

So back to the moment. She looked at her and saw she had blood near her back end and a hole that looked like it was a cyst.  It didn’t look good. So we decided to head to town and think about what to do. We discussed going down to Loomis Basin Vet which has emergency services but decided they would go for testing etc( they are into the money), then the other option was to wait to today, or the third option, call the mobile vet we’ve called before.

We knew Bonnie wasn’t going to improve and it looked like she was in pain and standing funny.  The vet said it was cancer tumors pressing on her chest cavity.

She went peacefully with Sachi petting her head. It’s always a sad day when your friend goes to the rainbow bridge. Over our lifetime, we’ve had many pets and deaths.  It doesn’t get easier but there is more understanding.

Now we are concerned for Rocky, her littermate who is the black and white border collie. He’s been looking for her and seems lost. He’s also deaf so he always took his cues from Bonnie.  So that will be tough. I have a feeling he will go too in the next 6 months. He is after all the same age.

So the day ended up not simple at all and sad.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_386.jpg